Trattoria Gia - Reviewed by Dinertec, Aug 27, 2015

Rating: 4/5

  • 17 King Street
  • Glasgow
  • G1 5QZ
  • Tel: 0141 5527411

The clock was ticking and the minutes were winding down. Then, boom! It was 5pm and time for the Tec to take an early Friday cut. The Moll’s peepers shone as she realised she wouldn’t have to moan about the Tec burning the candle in the wee small hours.

“Finally, we can enjoy some quality time together, Tec,” she cooed as I slammed the Buick into gear. It was a fine evening with some welcome sun after a week of rain storms. Toots and I were craving comfort ... and wine. We both had the same thought. “Tec, can we go Italiano?” she purred. “Bingo,” I replied.

We parked up at a side of town where, back in the day, high living was salt and vinegar with your chips. The sandstone tenements sure looked stunning in the late afternoon sun. We were in the Saltmarket and heading to an old favourite we hadn’t been to in many moons.

“Sometimes it’s good to re-visit the past,” said Toots with an odd twinkle in her eye. We headed to Trattoria Gia and let the warmth wrap itself round us. The thatched roof and checked tablecloths took me back to old St Tropez and the laughter in the restaurant made us smile.

We were shown to our seats, giggling like schoolkids. The waitress gave us menus and was happy to chat. First things first, Toots said: “Can we have a bottle of house red?” It came swiftly and, boy, it did not disappoint. The weeks’ worries were melting away.

The menu was traditional – lots of pasta, fish and meat – but that’s what we were after. The growling from our midriffs was proof enough. Given the warm weather, a fruit cocktail caught my eye. Mi scusi, I meant to say Melone Con Frutta. The Moll picked the Funghi Ripieni – mushrooms packed with ham, cheese and onions.

It was a race to see who could fill their face first when the starters arrived. My dish was fresh with mouthwatering berries and the melon melted in my mouth. I savoured the coulis. Toots gobbled down her mushrooms.

As we sat sipping our vino, smells wafted from the kitchen. Nothing beats old-fashioned Italian food, we thought. Toots was getting louder as the wine went to her head. By this point the restaurant was beginning to empty. It’s a shame it wasn’t busier because the food was a cut above other Italians in town.

I saw our next plates come in a halo of steam. Our host offered us parmesan and black pepper: “Buon appetito!” I had plumped for Linguine Al Salmone, a rich dish of pasta cooked in cream, smoked salmon and flambéed with vodka. This was one of the best dishes I’d tried in a long time. Across the table Toots was in Heaven – her lasagne an old favourite that never goes out of fashion.

The red wine was the perfect accompaniment to our trattoria dishes. Incredibly, we were stuffed – too full for a dessert but we were assured they’re some of the best in town. Toots and I kicked back with our wine, and the silence told us we were alone.

And it was just a bit off-putting when they turned the music off ... as if they’d prefer us to leave. It was just after 9pm and we were still enjoying our Friday night out. But they were nothing but polite.

This was an Italian we’ll return to soon. So, get along to Gia pronto – this is one gem the city can’t afford to lose.